Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?


Prayerful Petition is Demeaning
What about prayer? Prayer always asks for God to affect your heart at least implicitly. For example, you cannot expect God to give you a bike and not change your heart so that you become a better person who say confesses reliance on God and love. So it moves God to act that way and moves God if he wills to give you the bike. All prayer then is all about petition in one or two ways.  Yet even then it is ultimately making you live as a proper friend of God.  If it is all about the kind of person you are then the kind of person that you become after sincere prayer is the only thing worth considering.

If most people who pray are nothing special then that refutes the value of prayer and shows believers are not really that much about being good in the sight of God.

Prayer is not about asking God for anything but about having a relationship with him. You talk to him to build this relationship and you hope he will talk to you. There is no relationship with another person if it is all about asking them for x or y or z.

Christianity says that prayer comes from a loving heart so if there is a God then your prayers connecting with him and reaching him depend on your spiritual and humble and virtuous disposition.  To tell somebody you will pray for them is to tell them how great you are!  And to say that God will listen to you for you are holy enough!!

Prayer is about seeking meaning in a specific happening. You are not trying to give it to the person you are praying for. You are using them and their predicament to get meaning for yourself.


As God is the source of all only God truly matters.  Prayer that is not about giving yourself 100% to God is not prayer at all.  It is magic for it would take great magic to fool a good God with your fake intentions.

Jesus forgot his core doctrine that prayer is about accepting all that comes as being from God in honour of God and endorsed the idea that the more prayer the more results you get.  "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him." And he answers from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs." (NRSV).

It has been declared that to say you submit to God in all he wants or sends to you that you are in fact still petitioning God.  You are asking him to do what he wants.  You are asking him to let you continue accepting this.  Gratitude is petition in the sense "Thank you for giving me what I want."  Gratitude is like asking after the event.  But there is a difference between petitioning somebody to do his own will and to do yours.  You are saying he must do his will even if yours is violated.

Prayer is communication with God. It is union with God and believers say it is two way. God unites with you when you pray and you unite with him.
Prayer is not necessarily vocal it can just be an attitude you carry around in your heart. It can just be an intention that you donít put into words.
Petitionary prayer, prayer that asks for something, either influences God or it does not. Or it is meant to influence God or it is not. All prayer is intended to be petitionary for even when you donít ask for a favour but just want to be with God you must necessarily intend that he helps you be really with him.


What is wrong with praying to God when you are not sure what you are praying to and hoping there is something to hear your prayer?  People will not care what listens as long as something does.  And even more so when they are desperate.  The prayer then could end up in Satan's lap.
It is fanaticism to pray for protection, physical or spiritual, for yourself or others. Yet all reverent prayer contains the intention that God will protect your soul against vice.
If you pray to God then you are praying to the most powerful entity there is. So it follows that praying for a seriously ill person is far more important than getting the doctor. Believers will get the doctor but that does nothing to allay the fanaticism in their attitude. If they had to either pray or get the doctor and they could only do one of these they would pray. The fanaticism means they cannot object when they go that far if God forbids getting the doctor so it is plain murderous. To prefer death for another is like willing it so it is a black heart that would do it. Prayer is meant to lead a person to better submission to the Church and its fanaticism implies, ďIf I can regard prayer as more important than doctors because of the influence of the Church then by logic I should heed and obey everything my Church commands for God speaks through the ChurchĒ.
Prayer brainwashes. If you would put your relations on a shipwreck in the hands of a God whose existence you cannot be very sure of then you are mad for you feel you love them but how can you when you are doing that? Would you love them if you prayed to Sinbad the Sailor to save them? No for that is like asking a complete stranger to look after your little daughter. When you ask God to save a life you are resolving you will accept it if he does not do it so you are confessing God has the right to kill. To approve of death for the sake of a hypothetical God is very unreasonable and callous. To say that such evil may be compatible with Godís plan in some unknown way is to make evil permissible while to say that evil is useless gives it what it really should get, total intolerance. We must will it not to happen. Full stop. God is an evil hypothesis and so prayer is evil and dehumanising.
Though God knows exactly what we need before we ask him, he asks us to pray. It is not to tell him what we want or to tell him what he should do because he already knows and if he should do something he will do it without prayer but to be humble and show him that we are so inferior to him and so make a sacrifice of time and our powers to please him alone (Question 82, Radio Replies Volume 3; page 180, In Defence of the Faith). This is degrading unless you are more sure that God exists than you are that you exist which is impossible for you experience your own existence. That is the simple fact though many religious people lie that they are that sure and say they are surer God exists! You come first and you are meant to love what is outside of you by and through loving yourself. It is as degrading as bowing before an idol and not being sure enough that it is a god. But the Church commands all to pray and even has agnostics doing it.
Young people tend to pray to do well in exams. In essence, this is not praying to become a better and holier person whatever happens and through whatever happens so God will not listen to it. He wants you to be more interested in being holy than in success. Praying to pass or do well is simply asking God to help you to cheat. You want God to make sure only the material you are familiar with or succeed in remembering will come up which is cheating for the purpose of exams is for you to know everything on your course so that you will be prepared for anything that comes up for anything could.
If you are not trying to cheat then why don't you pray, "God, help Johnny to pass the exam and don't worry about me." Praying for yourself to pass and not thinking of Johnny is trying to cheat. Christian virtue says we must be centred on the needs of others so this implies this logic is correct.
Confidence in Godís power to keep you safe or to undo the damage you do is dangerous for it will lead to a lack of effort on your part to at least some extent. When you wonít act, God has to if he is good for the sake of other people. He cannot let the worst happen intending to make amends later for that does not justify it. That is all very well but what if there is no God? Religion is usually reluctant to make sure that everybody knows all about the doctrines its has. Religion tells people to turn to God in prayer for answers and that is a dangerous approach if there is no God. It is fanatical. Psychics are often bad news but this is no better.
We know that belief in miracles is bad and irrational. Prayer makes no sense unless you think that God is tweaking the way things work by secretly miraculously intervening to do what you ask. It would be extreme arrogance to hold that God has to do such things over you.
Prayer is inhuman. 
Prayer is bad because religious belief is.
Atheists have a right to see prayer as an evil activity. It conditions people to prefer Godís rights to human rights and to deepen the religious hold on the world with all the terrible disasters that brings. Prayer insults people. The view of God that it proposes for us is vile and has resulted in the vile hypocrisy that is so common in people of faith. One wonders if people who are unaffected by its poison really believe or only imagine that they believe. Prayer implies God should let good people suffer for he has the power to save them and wonít. It can only lead to trouble. If people didnít see the need for praying they wouldnít see the need for believing in God so prayer must be exposed.
The benefits of prayer do not come from prayer at all which is why we should challenge peopleís faith in prayer and have no regrets. The benefits are nothing compared to the damage that is done.

Catholic Encyclopaedia. This discusses Quietism.
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